Illustration Monday: Maps

I never had much of an appreciation for maps until I started Holly Lisle’s How to Think Sideways Course, and even then, not until my second third crack at it. Except, not only do I now have an appreciation for them, I find them absolutely vital to my process. You see, *I* need the maps so that *I* don’t get lost in the vast expansion of my story’s canvas.

Before now, I never bothered with any of this. I’d decided I had it all figured out in my head and it would stay that way. (Go ahead and laugh. I would.) Now that I’ve reached Dirge: Draft #1 take 506? I’m starting to think otherwise.

So this all has become terribly important to figure out. I am looking at these as works in progress and not finalized, because the rule is the rules change. so they are extremely vague, but they serve the purpose of letting me see at a glance where my Volk territories are and where stuff happens.

So, here’s my Big Picture Map:

Dirge Concepts: Labyrinthine Forest

Art (c) S.J. Collins

Told you it was vague.

This is Labyrinthine Forest.  You’ll see that there’s a lot of white space, that’s intentional. I’m trying not to get too bogged down in details for the moment. I want certain things to develop organically. And in fact, in making this map? Something did. I never gave much thought to how big each Volk territory is, but in drawing them out, my muse whispered some very good reasons why the Southern territory is larger than the others. Why the Eastern territory is the smallest…and now I have lots of very coo ideas about how I can create some very juicy inter-volk conflict that was desperately needed. Before I only had a vague notion that they weren’t particularly happy with the way that their societies are being run, but now I have some reasons why. And why is always important.

I also have plans for that long winding path…

Oh and, that huge circle on the south-east corner of the page? I didn’t label it but that would be Hallovaxe or, as the Volk think of it, The Caged City. But more on that next time.


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